Thursday, May 28, 2009

Im Memory

Esther Beyda

Beyda, Esther
79, passed away unexpectedly at home on May 22, 2009. She lived her life as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She spent the last two years as a mentor for students at Sunburst Elementary School, where the children and staff loved her as much as she loved them. Ironically, the woman who refused to sit down and eat her own cooking brought so much joy to those at the table through her classic Jewish recipes. Her family takes comfort that she is now with the love of her life, Sam Beyda, who we lost almost three years ago. She is survived by her son Jack (Mary) Beyda, daughter Michelle (Craig) Anderson, grandchildren Cyndee (Travis) Markel, Suzzanne (Adrian) Ravitz, Brian Stolt, Eric (Shelly) Anderson and Ryan Anderson, and six great-grandchildren. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at Beth El Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice of the Valley or ALS Valley of the Sun. We miss you already…give Papa a big hug for all of us.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The INDY Mechanic-My Distant Cousin

As the Indianapolis 500 approaches, it seemed fitting to pass along this "discovery" by some distant relatives about another distant relative

                            Here is the webaddress for the complete site:   

                    We currently live just a few blocks from Clint's 7th Street and Glendale shop location, now considered Central Phoenix.




Indycar Chief Mechanic

Clint Brawner was born on December 15, 1916 and grew up in what was then the north
Phoenix. From an early age his mechanical skills were obvious as he maintained and
repaired the family's farm equipment and when he was old enough to drive he started
going to the local races and helping out in the pits.

He saw his first Indy 500 in 1938 and in the late forties he started running his own Midgets
at some of the local dirt tracks. His talent as a race car wrench was recognized and in
1950 he went to Indianapolis at a crew member before starting an unparalleled run of champ
car success in 1953, when Al Dean asked Brawner to prepare and care for the soon-to-
be-famous Dean Van Lines Specials.

By then Clint and his wife Kay had bought a house on 7th Street and Glendale, still
considered the outskirts of the Valley of the Sun, and built a race shop. That was where
Clint Brawner helped to elevate the Offy roadster and Indy racing to the pinnacle of
professional motorsports before doing the same thing with the new rear-engine cars;
specifically, the Brawner Hawk.

Driven by Mario Andretti, Brawner Hawks won USAC National Championships in 1965,
1966 and 1969, finishing second in 1967 and 1968. The Hawks found Victory Lane 30
times, the same number of pole positions Andretti earned while driving the creations Brawner
built in Phoenix, Arizona.

Clint retired in the early eighties and passed away on December 23, 1987. He left a legacy
of being a self-taught, tireless genius at engineering, fabrication and race car preparation,
epitomized by the Clint Brawner Mechanical Excellence Award presented annually every May
to one Indy 500 chief mechanic who "exemplifies the mechanical and scientific creativity,
ingenuity, perseverance, dedication, enthusiasm and expertise"
of its namesake.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Finally We Agree On Something

As I was watching TV the other night I noticed that car commercials remained ubiquitous. I started scratching my head when I realized they were for companies who the government has been nudging into bankruptcy. The prudence of this advertising seemed dubious at best, even recognizing these contracts may have predated the real troubles (they could still be pulled upon the request of the advertiser). Then I saw this headline at

Report: Obama administration slices Chrysler ad budget by 50%!

The fact that they had to be told to do this is astonishing and revealing all at once.

Watch the Senate Armed Services Committee

grill my friend Chuck Blanchard as the final vetting for his coming stint as General Counsel of the Air Force: